Protopalatial Period

The Middle Minoan period at Mochlos is currently under extensive study. This period, also referred to as the Protopalatial period, extended from the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC to around 1670 BC.

The Protopalatial period (1900-1670 BC) at Mochlos is represented by fragmentary material. The period ended with the remodeling of the Mochlos settlement, taking the form of what we see today, known as the Neopalatial (Late Minoan I) settlement. However, the extent of Middle Minoan deposits in various areas of the site signify that the Protopalatial settlement covered a large area underneath the LM I town. Five ceramic deposits related to isolated architectural features and a partially excavated house have expanded our ideas about the transformation of Mochlos from the Early Bronze Age to what is called the Protopalatial period.

During this time, Mochlos transformed from a local chiefdom to a participant of a state level society, which showed strong cultural affiliations with the center of Mallia whose reach extended to the Gulf of Mirabello. Even from the beginning of the Protopalatial period the material at Mochlos shows extensive localized pottery production intensifying throughout the course of this period. The introduction of the potters’ wheel led to the creation of new shapes, like carinated and straight-sided cups and tumblers. The standardization in pottery consumption, expressed as similarities with pottery material from other sites in the region of Mirabello and with the center of Mallia, demonstrates the importance of Mochlos as a provincial settlement in the Mallian state until the end of this period.

Finally, the decline and the replacement of the Protopalatial settlement by the Neopalatial town may be the result of violent destructions that have also been identified at other sites in the Mirabello Gulf and in other regions of Crete at the end of the Protopalatial period.